• Stambh Organization

THE PATRIARCHAL SOCIETY: WOMEN, NORMS, CULTURE DISCRIMINATION


“the oppressor would not be so strong if he did not have accomplices among the

oppressed”

― Simone de Beauvoir, The Ethics of Ambiguity

Before beginning or going into literal and scientific reasoning let us just take a quick

moment to answer a few questions in the perspective of common parlance. Who and

which gender in an ordinary Indian Family manages the finances of a house? Who in

Indian Society is "expected" to have a quality job and education? Which gender is prayed

to be born whenever a child's birth takes place? Which gender or who is supposed and

expected not to cry in circumstances which could portray the one as "weak"? Which

gender has prospects to carry forward the hierarchy of the family? There are many more

unasked, unanalyzed and unreviewed questions still left out to be asked yet. But till then

you must have structured the answers to the above-mentioned ones. Yes, the familiar,

habitual, and routine answer to the same would be MEN, MALE, MASCULINE

GENDER.

Now, let us enlist a few more questions to make a clear space in your head about the

concept we are trying to deal with here. Who and which gender in the Indian household is

expected to look after children, do domestic chores, and manage the household? Who and

which gender in Indian society isnt preferred much to be born at the time of childbirth?

Who and which gender is obliged to leave one's parent's house after marriage and move to live with the husband's family? Who and which gender isn't expected to be career- oriented and inculcate quality education? Who and which gender is expected to leave one's job after childbirth to look after the child? Who and which gender is born with

much and much more restrictions than the other? Yes, the answer would be WOMEN,

FEMALE, FEMININE GENDER.

I have never believed in the upliftment of one gender while suppressing another. It is the

truth, the truth is that without women, men are partly conscious, and without men,

women. Nature has balanced herself by nurturing humans, humans of different gender,

nature, perspective, race, color and with different respective capabilities to each one of

them, then who decided that one gender must be oppressed and another one must be

suppressed even when the suppressing party isn't even willing to do the same. Who

decided the boundaries of restrictions, emotions, beauty, and expressions? Even the most

intelligent, cultivated, and civilized beings say men and women aren't equal. Who gave

them the authority to judge a gender merely based on physical strength and societal

norms? IT'S THE PATRIARCHY!

Patriarchy is a communal or social arrangement where the men, male and masculine

gender holds the predominant, fundamental and absolute authority over political, moral,

and economical issues and also are considered to be of greatest importance. The female

substitute of the same concept would be a matriarchy. The scale of patriarchy and the

way it influences Indian Society is beyond an average range. Despite the principles of the

Constitution of India guaranteeing equal protection and safeguard the rights and liberties

of women everywhere, the feminine gender in the country continues to face

discrimination and is one of the most underprivileged classes of the country. Patriarchy

has not only existed for the women within the families, but also for women who are just

unknown to you, working with you, our friends with you people intent to oppress women

with any possible means carrying forward the social norms. Rapes, domestic violence,

dowry, sexual exploitation, honor killing, marital rape, shaming, defamation are some of

the most aggressive and brutal forms of oppressing patriarchy on women in the country.

Women were key to the maintenance of human society and community, but with a few

exceptions, social and legal power was wielded by men. Women could gain some status

and privilege in patriarchy by limiting her child-bearing capacity to just one man so that

he could depend on her children being his children.”- Gerda Lerner's Analysis of

Patriarchy In a patriarchal society, a child born to a family is always recognized by the identity and acknowledgment of the father. The name of the father is considered to be attached as

guardian, caretaker, and to be declared as a member of that family. For a girl, after

marriage, the same identity recognition through the name of the father for a child is

eventually changed into that of a husband. Husband of a woman is her legal, social and

moral recognition. And, then the identity, the individual identity of that very girl is lost,

disappeared, or maybe never even existed. Not supporting one gender and blaming

another one, I believe that this arrangement of patriarchy is often imposed even on the

male members of the society even if they believe in equality, unbiasedness, or

nondiscrimination, they are either forced to follow the norms or obliged to do the same.

Taking the legal character of the right of maintenance ensured by the law of the country,

the female child possesses the right to maintenance of the property which is eventually

taken away from her after marriage, and the male child possesses the right to property

and ownership of the land immediately after birth. So basically, a woman is

acknowledged only by two fundamental roles i.e. motherhood and wifehood. It is to bring

a note that as per the UNICEF reports, the female birth rate is steadily declining day by

day which is undoubtedly a matter of concern. Not only the birth rate, but also, the scale

of women's participation in workplaces, social events, and education is reducing and

reducing. Now, who is to blame? The men, their male suppressing perspective, or the

patriarchal reflection? Maybe all of them.

Let us take a quick glimpse and talk about one of the most brutal, casteist, and barbies

impacts of patriarchy in Indian Society- HONOUR KILLING. Undiscussed, undisclosed,

hushed silenced crime of India. So an honor killing is a crime (at least in my purview)

where people who are born and brought under different castes, religions, race divisions

exist in India, and they marry or find love crossing the bars of such divisions. The

repercussion of violating or infringing honor is a shame. Those people bring shame

merely by finding a person to live with for the rest of their lives and hence the reputation

of the family will be ruined merely barring the caste divisions and crossing boundaries of

race, religion, or race and finding eternity beyond the boundaries. Women, females of the

family are the key agents for bringing shame to the family, society, and also to the caste!

And so we kill them, we kill not because they found a beautiful soul not keeping in mind

the social boundaries, we kill them just for deterrence, for establishing control, fear, and

obligation to preserve the reputation of the family, society, etc.

We live and share this world with people carrying different perspectives, characteristics,

body features, colors, genders, and everything but most importantly we breathe, and they

too. I wish to live in a world where we as humans are respected and survive with a

dignified life not merely on the recognition from our gender, race, caste, sex, color, etc.

but from the frame of mind, we carry, the capabilities we possess, the service we provide

for humankind, and from the essence of a human soul. I wish to live in a society where


people find pride and prosperity in every human being and on the fact that they are alive

and breathing, and present with them at that point. Gender is one of the most beautiful

things nature has given us. Each gender carries its essence and capabilities which the

other gender does not possess, and makes the one part without another. This essence

should be brought by making every one of them believe and have faith inequality. If men

want to cry: let them, if women want to work: let them, if trans people want civil basic

rights: let them. If humans want to live and breathe freely: let them. We all are born with

dignity, we all possess the right to respect and acknowledgment since the day we were

blessed enough by mother nature to be born as humans, beyond the bars of castes, race,

sex, color, religion, etc. And, this respect is supposed to be preserved and conserved even

after the death of the person. Each human is precious, each life is precious, each breath is

precious.

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